New Hardware..suggestions?

Talk about your MIDI interfaces, microphones, keyboards...

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dchurch24
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:44 pm

Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by dchurch24 »

Wooo! Finally, my sound-card has arrived (paid for on the 11th December on ebay!!!) - it's a Delta 66 with the break-out box.

I'm told I need a pre-amp, but I'm not entirely sure what for - I assume I can't simply plug straight into the breakout box from the 'out' of my Marshall amp?

Also, can anyone suggest the best OS to use - I hear there are problems with latency using Ubuntu 8.10 (which I use on most of my machines) and that the Debian studio is a better option.

I have no experience with compiling kernels, so not really sure I want to go that route, although am willing to listen and learn if anyone thinks that might be a better option.

thorgal
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Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by thorgal »

there's no "best OS to use", it's a combination of things (first and foremost, hardware, then kernel and system conf) that you may probably have to tweak yourself. Start with 64studio if you are more comfortable with debian based stuff. I would not recommend Ubuntu for a DAW, but that's just my experience. Others may tell you otherwise.

dchurch24
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Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by dchurch24 »

Thanks for the tip.

I've just downloaded the 64_Studio iso, burned it to disc - the machine boots to the disc (like a live disc), but I can't for the life of me work out how to actually get it installed!!??!

EDIT: I think I must have downloaded the live cd - I didn't realise they were different. Still, only another 46 mins until the iso downloads - sigh!

ntnunk
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Location: Cary, NC

Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by ntnunk »

I'm using Ubuntu Studio 8.04 and it's worked well so far. I installed it with an old Sound Blaster Audigy 1 in the computer and when I got my Delta 66 and swapped the sound cards Ubuntu Studio picked it up with no problem at all. I have no experience with other audio distros, so I can't comment about any of them.
thorgal wrote: I would not recommend Ubuntu for a DAW, but that's just my experience.
Thorgal,

If you don't mind me asking, why do you not recommend Ubuntu for a DAW? Have you had problems? If so, what kinds?

dchurch24
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Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by dchurch24 »

Hi, do you have any latency problems using Ubuntu? Are you using midi as well as audio?

I only ask, as 2 of my machines are xubuntu, one xUbuntu (you know which one ;-)), one mythbuntu, one 64_Studio and my main one which is Ubuntu 8.10. I haven't had any problems with any of them, but then I haven't tried anything to do with sound, bar recording voice and playing mp3s.

I'd prefer to use Ubuntu if I can, simply 'cos I know how to set up everything that I need in Ubuntu and am familiar with it - I have no problem using any other distro, I like the learning curve to be honest, but I really want to get up and running quickly - I've waited years until I could afford the equipment and now I can, I am chomping at the bit ;-)

thorgal
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Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by thorgal »

my experience with Ubuntu Studio is far from exhaustive and it dates back to summer 2007. So it may not be relevant any longer:

- installing it was a pain. Probably due to my mobo but debian was easy to install .
- performance was really poor out of the box, I also had to do something extra to make my RME system work (flash some firmware by hand or something else)
- the xorg driver was in poor shape for a dual monitor system, I had gotten a SVDO extension to the intel graphics chip, but xrandr was unable to provide an extended view across both monitors
- the ALSA device order was not consistent across boots so I had to manually fix this with indexing things
- the system was unstable : lockups, tons of xruns at times, crashes of jack clients, and I could not trace why
- the system became unbootable after a while, I lost my root partition (ext3), it was such a mess that I had to wipe out my root partition and install another distro.

SO I installed 64studio, saw it was in fact debian and updated right away to debian sid. I thought to myself: what the heck, if I am to use this machine for everyday production, I will customize it the way I like and not rely on prepackaged distros. So I trimmed down my debian system and installed what was relevant to me, compiled some stuff, went through system configuration, etc. It took me a while to achieve this but since linux was nothing new, I did not mind. In fact, I wasted my time trying not to waste it with so called A/V distros :lol:

ntnunk
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Location: Cary, NC

Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by ntnunk »

dchurch24 wrote:do you have any latency problems using Ubuntu? Are you using midi as well as audio?
I use and MIDI extensively, both with software synths and hardware synths (via a M-AUDIO USB Uno interface) with Ubuntu Studio 8.04 with no problems. While tracking I run JACK with latencies around 2ms (I have to run JACK with higher latencies while mastering because of JAMin). With JACK running at anything less than about 12ms I don't notice any latency at all while playing keyboard or using synths along with Rosegarden. It's not uncommon for me to have several tracks of audio going in Ardour along with several tracks of MIDI going in Rosegarden and Hydrogen playing drums, all synced up through JACK. I've had no latency problems at all with this arrangement.

A couple of things to note though:
  • If you use regular Ubuntu you'll have to either install the Ubuntu Studio packages or arrange your own low-latency kernel. Ubuntu doesn't come out of the box with it.
  • You'll want to read up on using Ubuntu 8.10. My understanding is that the kernel version with 8.10 has some kind of incompatibility with the low-latency patches. I'm using 8.04 so I haven't been concerned enough with it to find out the details.

ntnunk
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Location: Cary, NC

Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by ntnunk »

thorgal wrote:my experience with Ubuntu Studio is far from exhaustive and it dates back to summer 2007.
Wow, no wonder you aren't a fan! Fortunately I had none of those problems. Ubuntu Studio went in cleanly and easily, and I've had no problems whatsoever with it.
SO I installed 64studio, saw it was in fact debian and updated right away to debian sid. I thought to myself: what the heck, if I am to use this machine for everyday production, I will customize it the way I like and not rely on prepackaged distros. So I trimmed down my debian system and installed what was relevant to me, compiled some stuff, went through system configuration, etc. It took me a while to achieve this but since linux was nothing new, I did not mind. In fact, I wasted my time trying not to waste it with so called A/V distros :lol:
I ran heavily hacked, modified, and upgraded versions of Slackware for quite a number of years. The reason I stopped was that when I started using Linux machines for my day-to-day life (as opposed to toys that I tinkered with) I decided I didn't have the time to constantly be tweaking, compiling, etc. So I started using more "finished" distros, namely SUSE. I've been thinking about reverting back to a heavily customized distro for my audio work. The reason I haven't is that I want to make music, not hack on my OS, and I'm afraid I won't be able to resist the urge to continually upgrade software, download patches, etc. I'll have to think a little more about it I guess. I may be coming to you with questions... :D

thorgal
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Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by thorgal »

hey ntunk,

The only things I kept upgrading regularly are ardour and jackd. Once I found a good system config, I did not change it. And I don't consider my DAW as a toy, linux or not :lol: It cost me enough money to take it seriously enough :)

ntnunk
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:19 am
Location: Cary, NC

Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by ntnunk »

thorgal wrote:I don't consider my DAW as a toy, linux or not :lol: It cost me enough money to take it seriously enough :)
Trust me, I agree 100%. I've invested quite a bit in mine as well. That's one of the reasons why I've been using Ubuntu Studio and resisting the urge to hack on it too heavily.

dchurch24
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Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by dchurch24 »

Finally! I tried 64_Studio, but no matter what I did (and thanks for tips guys) I just couldn't get it to work with the Delta 66. It could see it ok in lspci, and in dmesg and also when I ran alsaconf, but after all that it STILL said "no sound cards found" - despite listing both the onboard one(which was disabled and not disabled in the bios in a last ditch attempt to get things moving) and the m-audio one.

So....installed Ubuntu Studio 8.04 (recommended). Found the card straight away.

Looks nice(ish), plus has all the apps that I need to use etc. I managed to get output (or at least output showing in the envy24 thingy).

But now, I have no idea where to plug what into the card.

I tried plugging into the breakout box from the 'emulation' line-out on my guitar amp, but no input sound registered in the envy mixer. I was told by the chap in the local music shop that I may not need a pre-amp if my guitar had an emulation output - and sure enough, when I got home to look, there it was on the back.

So, I could get output (and when I find my bloody cables, I'll be able to hear it too), but no input I think. There was certainly no activity on the screen in the mixer.

Also, for the output to, say a hi-fi amp, would I use the two phonos on the back of the Delta 66?

dchurch24
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:44 pm

Re: New Hardware..suggestions?

Post by dchurch24 »

Hmmmm...I'm having no luck at all here. I plugged a jack into the output 1 of the breakout box and all I got was noise from my amp.

Should I be using the two phono outs on the back of the soundcard and not on the breakout box? If so, what are the 4 outputs?

I plugged a guitar in to the input 1 (through an amp, using the line-out 'emulation') and got nothing at all on screen to indicate that it was receiving anything. I then tried the same straight from my zoom pedal and still nothing.

The card is definitely installed as when I play a movie file I can see the output levels using envy24.

Am I just being a dunce? I'm getting really frustrated now, I just seem to be throwing money at something that I can't get working (bought 2 new 22in flatscreens yesterday in anticipation, a sure sm58 and a zoom g1).

Still, they're nice toys to have while I try and get it all up and running ;-)

(can you tell I'm new to all this? ;-) )

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